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High Court Works on Overtime

Posted Apr 16, 2007 11:16 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments today in a case seeking overtime wages for home health care workers.

Plaintiff Evelyn Coke, a Jamaican immigrant, worked up to 70 hours a week without overtime pay while caring for the elderly, according to the Chicago Tribune.

A federal regulation exempts home care companions from overtime protections. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in New York City, had invalidated the regulation, saying it is inconsistent with the intent of Congress, the Associated Press reports.

"People are supposed to get paid when they work," Coke told the Associated Press in an interview from her home. Now 73, she now has diabetes and kidney problems that force her to undergo dialysis.

Coke’s former employer, Long Island Care at Home Ltd., says it will incur losses if the exemption is lifted.

The United States supports the regulation in an amicus brief, according to an analysis by SCOTUSblog.

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